Is Hydro worth it?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by WeeDr, Nov 11, 2007.

  1. WeeDr

    WeeDr LawnSite Member
    Posts: 23

    I've done some comparisons, and it seems to me that the Hydro's are almost double the price of a belt driven Walk Behind. "Starting out" looking to get the most for your money would it be worth getting a hydro wb? (Considering you have to buy all the other stuff you need to get going ie. trailer, trimmers, edger, hedge trimmer, and blower) My thoughts on getting the belt driven WB is getting it for the first season, make some money, and then sale it and put the money towards the Hydro.
  2. Tadams

    Tadams LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 788

    Have you used a belt drive and a hydro before? A hydro is soooo much easier to use. Instant reverse, easier to turn around, you can get into tighter areas, no slipping belts, fewer (if any) tire divots. On a belt drive you have to pull it off the trailer, it has reverse assist (you have to pull it to back it up), more line trimming because you can't get as close in the tight spots. I think that it is well worth the extra money to get a hydro instead of a belt drive. We use Exmarks so I can't speak for the other brands but I didn't think that they were twice as much. Maybe a grand or so more but it is worth it. I am sure I will get bashed by all the guys that only run belt drives but you will soon find out that most people think that what they use is the best thing since sliced bread and every thing else is junk. Go and demo both of them and see which one you like better.
  3. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,207

    The belt drives are fine for starter mowers....we started with two 32" Scag belt drive units and they worked fine even on small lots. Don't get a bigger mower than you absolutely need because the heavier they are the harder they are to pull around if you get in a tight area and parking it on the trailer.
  4. ncls

    ncls LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 441

    I started out with a 48 Scag belt drive. Had it for 3 years. I was tired every day. Got a Lesco 52" hydro. Still have it 12 years later. Using that mower kept me in the business. (That and riders:laugh: ). The hydro will allow you to work longer, harder, and make more money without beating the crap out of your body.
  5. corey4671

    corey4671 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,931

    I demoed both..I took the belt drive out first and returned it to the dealer before the day was over. I hated it. Never felt like I was in control of it. Demoed the Hydro. No comparison. I had never operated a WB, only ZTRs. Needless to say, the hydro handled so much more like my ZTR.
  6. Chilehead

    Chilehead LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Stockbridge, GA
    Posts: 1,899

    100% pro-hydro here. One thing not mentioned was that hydros excel in wet conditions. They also offer more control/safety on steep inclines.
  7. beano

    beano LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 425

    Are Hydros nice with the reverse and the ease of controls.....yes but a belt drive is great for a starter mower and for half the price you will get your money out of it. Once you go hydro you wont go back but if you dont know any better get a belt to start. They are money makers no matter what anyone says. Like you said, keep it for a couple years and sell it when your ready.
  8. lifetree

    lifetree LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,370

    Ditto on this !!
  9. metro36

    metro36 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,412

    I drove a toro belt drive at the dealer and that was it for me. I found a good deal on a hydro and bought it. The hydro is so much easier on the operator and faster making it more productive. It is also easier to trim with because you have instant reverse and infinite speed control.
  10. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,782

    Without a doubt its worth it...I dont even know why companies even make belt drives. I would think it would cost more to make all of the extra parts and pay someone to put it all together.

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